The DNRF at the Global Research Council’s meeting in Tokyo

This week the DNRF Chair Professor Liselotte Højgaard and DNRF Director Professor Thomas Sinkjær was in Tokyo for the Global Research Council’s annual meeting.

The meeting’s two main themes were ‘Research Funding for Scientific Breakthrough’ and ‘Building Research and Education Capacity’, and as can be seen from the picture the LEGO-brick is used as a metaphor for creative capacity building world wide.

Liselotte Højgaard and Thomas Sinkjær attended the meeting determined to influence the discussion and endorsement of the”Statement of Principles for Funding Scientific Breakthroughs”. Sinkjær and Højgaard are particularly pleased to find that it is globally recognized that curiosity driven research is a primary force of breakthroughs and development for humankind and society.


The Global Research Council’s members urge support of buttom-up research, emphasize providing researchers with the flexibility and intellectual space needed for serendipity, and encourage risk-taking and acceptance of failure in research activities.

At the same time it was agreed that GRC participants should adopt a diverse and balanced portfolio of approaches and instruments according to their organizational mission, as well as ensure support for both centers of excellences and individual investigators, researcher-driven and mission-oriented research.

In Denmark funding options for reseracher-driven ideas is covered in the portfolio of instruments provided by the Danish Council for Independent Research and the DNRF.

At the meeting it was widely agreed to be important to ensure support for research in diverse disciplines and foster interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary exchanges to stimulate exploratory approaches.

The principles are in line with the DNRF’s take on what the important parametres are when funding ground-breaking research.


The risk that increased centralization of administrative staff could impede the framework for creative research environments was raised as a concern at the meeting. Liselotte Højgaard og Thomas Sinkjær raised the same concern earlier this week in the Comment from Berlingske Dansk forskning kan blive kvalt i centralisering.

Read the comment here

Power to the Researcher

The DNRF encourage that we listen to the researcher when designing the research funding system. Previously this year Thomas Sinkjær has given two interviews to international media to spread the word about the DNRF strategy and the foundation’s flagship instrument Centers of Excellence. Apropos listning to the researchers the title of the first interview is Power to the Researcher.

Læs Power to the Researcher

Læs Centring on Excellence